A desire to Move
What energizes our movement
Movement or action is determined by many things, some very basic and instinctive, like eating, sleeping, etc., while others are more multi-faceted, I want to suggest that all these are birthed from a common source, to explore consider these very simple questions.
Why are the most basic bodily functions ingrained into our being and seemingly into most other living things?
Even plants in some way eat, sleep, reproduce, and are concerned with protecting themselves, why do we share the same instincts.
What is common among the things we consider instinctive?
What is strong enough to override these “instinctive” impulses?
What might prompt a person or being to risk giving up the life we are so predisposed to protect and value?
We believe the common thread is love.
Scripture says that God is love, no doubt this is why attempts to comprehend it fully are found so wanting; however, that hasn’t stopped us from trying to gain more understanding. What I have learned thus far is that the topic encompasses and connects every major scriptural concept I have been exposed to.
I want to suggest, that love and by extension, love’s byproducts, are the source that powers life and that it is inherent in all living things.
To qualify the previous statement we will take a different approach at defining love, highlighting a few of its byproducts and subsequently explore why we believe it is connected to all movement or action.
What is love?
No one language seems to have a grip on all that it is or can be; the Greek language has several different words to describe love, while other languages have one word with several different connotations. To help us get a better handle on this love we have come to observe, we will focus on the Hebrew language’s interpretation of this universal concept.
If there could just be one broad meaning for love, based on our research and limited understanding it would be the “provision and protection of something given as a privilege” . On the surface, this definition may seem void of the emotional undertone that is typically associated with love. In reality, however, they aren’t absent, this description instead focuses on love’s source and not on its many byproducts like emotion. I have come to believe that emotion is a byproduct of love which produces physical impulses to ensure that love’s actions are carried out.
This specific definition of love is associated with the Hebrew word AHAVA and within it is the root of all ”actions” carried out by all living things, put mildly all living things make all decisions because of love.
The literal meaning of AHAVA is “I give” and is derived from its Hebrew root, which means “to give”.
Loves dependence on “giving”
Here the meaning of Ahava is centred on giving and some suggest that it is the actual process of giving that creates the connection between the giver and the receiver , and I tend to agree. I agree also because upon taking a closer look at the definition for Ahava, I recognize that the need to provide and protect, precedes or generates emotion, which in turn reveal and influences the type, strength, priority and quality of our connections or relationships. These relationships or connections are expressed in many ways and are based on the purposes and circumstances of the relationship between the giver and receiver.
Love affects every aspect of man’s soul and the varying intensity of its effect on the different components of mankind determine the types of love that are traditionally observed, from the Greek these are categorized by agape, philia, pragma, storge, eros, philautia, etc.
Love however is always based on giving, even if it is concerned with love of self – one component of self is loving the other.
Love is about action
Referencing our initial definition of AHAVA we see mention of provision and protection, it is upon these that we suggest all actions are based, whether perceived as good or evil. Put simply all actions come from an internal drive to provide and or protect, something or someone.
To provide and protect
Not every participant will be on the receiving end of every action and therefore be given something, but for every action, someone or something is provided for or protected. So that one party is added to and the other is taken from, sometimes this is voluntary and at other times the interactions are not consensual.
What action is done without provision or protection of something at its root, whether it is a person, thing, idea or feeling, it is being provided for or protected in some sense, this is true whether they are acts of the flesh Galatians 5:19-21 or acts of the Spirit Galatians 5:22-23.
Considered the above statements?
Therefore breathing, eating, fighting, hugging, kissing, murder, theft, rape, sacrifice, martyrdom, jealously, kindness, anger, and any other action or motive fathomable can all fit within the confines of provision and protection. This is true even if the more inherently evil aspects are based on a twisted sense of protection like murder or a twisted sense of provision like theft or rape. While giving is very connected to the root of the meaning of this word “Ahava” for love in scripture, it doesn’t justify the horrendous actions that we are capable of, and moreover, it simply isn’t right to classify all actions as love or loving.
In what instances should our actions be considered love?
What’s wrong with providing and protecting?
While I stand by the definition of love stated previously, we have only considered the aspect of love that defines love as an action but have not addressed the component that powers why, what, when and how the action is performed. It is the latter part of the definition presented which has the ability to qualify an action as an act of love (as we might expect).
With this realization, the root of the definition and different expressions which we associate with love, is heavily dependent on the concept of “given as a privilege”.
So let’s break down “given as a privilege” a bit more.  A privilege is a special advantage not enjoyed by everyone. Privilege comes from Latin “privilegium”, meaning a law for just one person, and means a benefit enjoyed by an individual or group beyond what’s available to others.
Consider how many things we can do at once, then contrast that with how many things we have the option of doing at any one point in time; now ask the question – What is a privilege?
In economics I learned about opportunity cost, it is the value of the options not taken, it focuses on the things you give up because of a particular choice.
It becomes very apparent the reason why of the many words for love in the Greek language why agape is so heavily emphasized within scripture. Strongs Concordance (26) describes Agape as love, benevolence, goodwill, esteem, etc, but it also goes on to say very interestingly that the verb form of the word agapao in antiquity meant “to prefer”, it even goes further to say that in the NT agape refers to divine love and describes that as what God prefers.
If we look at our resources, talents, time, effort, skills, experiences, energy (we could call these our glory) and if we seek to quantify them, as we would in economics, we recognize it holds true for us that by choosing to focus these in a specific area are we necessarily forfeiting a host of other options.
If sufficient value is attributed to someone or something, and they choose to make you their focus (give you their glory), should not the appropriate response be one of gratitude and appreciation?
Is that above all else not to be seen as a privilege?
What is more valuable than a person’s life or essence; their glory?
Of course, this is a great reason to show gratitude and appreciation for all actions that we benefit from, but how many of us consider that a choice that serves us requires a sacrifice of all other competing options?
This concept of privilege brings two additional elements into view, these concepts are glory and focus. We will be taking a closer look at these in the upcoming sections of this series.
We have just grazed the surface of what we have found concerning love, its many components, and its interconnectivity with other key topics within scripture and so we will be following up this introductory series on walking, with a series devoted entirely to love.